January 21, 2020

In This Issue...

Best Practices Forum
A Word from our Sponsors
Member News
Research and Resources
In the News
Job Announcements


The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.

Learn more about us at:


The next issue of NACPRO News will be delivered on February 4, 2020.

If you have news or an article to share, please send it to the editor by February 3.

Brenda Adams-Weyant
(814) 927-8212
[email protected]

NACPRO's Sponsors

Pilot Rock logo

Taylor Studios Logo

 oncell logo

Job Announcements

Assistant Director of Urban Trail Planning
BREC - Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA
Salary: $68,903.90 - $110,246.24 Annually
Closing date: Feb 20, 2020

Chief Executive Officer
New Orleans City Park
New Orleans, LA
Salary: Negotiable
Closing date: Feb 17, 2020

Deputy Director of Regional Parks
San Bernardino County Regional Parks
San Bernardino, CA
Salary: $99,444 - $135,574 Annually
Closing date: Jan 24, 2020

Director of Marketing & Public Engagement
Five Rivers MetroParks
Dayton, OH
Salary: $72,966 - $91,228 Annually
Closing date: Open until filled

For more information:

NACPRO's Summer Meeting to occur during the 2020 Special Park District Forum

Registration is now open for the 2020 Special Park District Forum hosted by Great Parks of Hamilton County, May 17–20, in Cincinnati, Ohio. We are excited to host you and to showcase all that Great Parks and our region has to offer!

Your stay with us will include three days of experiences, networking and learning as you visit parks, preserves and facilities in our three park district regions. Please click the link below for an itinerary overview, registration, hotel reservations and travel arrangements.

NACPRO's award banquet will take place on Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel. A one-day rate is available if you do not plan to attend the full forum.

For more information:

NACPRO accepting award nominations through February 21 -

Best Practices Forum

Got an issue you need advice on? Or a best practice you want to share? Send us the details and we will publish it in the next NACPRO News.

A Word from our Sponsors

The Best Charcoal Grill Sale of the Year!
Courtesy of Pilot Rock

Stock up on charcoal grills in January with our BOGOHOP sale! Use the code BOGOHOP in the RFQ comments to buy one get one half off price through January 31, 2020. Check out the promotion rules, and then get shopping!

For more information:

Member News

NPS Announces Grants for New Park Development Projects in 18 Cities
Courtesy of National Park Service

The National Park Service today announced the selection of Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program grants for projects to develop brand new or improve existing parks in 18 economically disadvantaged urbanized areas in 16 states. The selected cities will be invited to submit final applications for their proposals, which would result in $11.7 million of Federal investment to benefit communities that are underserved with respect to parks and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Local governments will partner with private and non-profit organizations to help provide the necessary support to leverage federal funding with an estimated $20 million in non-federal funds.

Metroparks Toledo chosen for ORLP Grant

Development Metroparks Toledo (Ohio) plans to restore 70 acres of former brownfields along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo. Water access activities such as shared-use paths, walkways, a canoe/kayak launch area, shoreline restoration, step stone access, and a river overlook boardwalk will provide public access to the Maumee River within an underserved urban community.

Read more:


Work begins on $16.8 million reconstruction of Baltimore’s Rash Field Park
Courtesy of the Baltimore Fishbowl

By Ed Gunts

MARYLAND - Years after it was first proposed, the reconstruction of Baltimore’s Rash Field waterfront park has finally begun.

The goal is to create a “world-class” park to replace the underutilized recreational area there today and serve as a vibrant gathering place for area residents as well as tourists.

The Rash Field redevelopment “demonstrates what is possible when city, state and local partners collaborate and prioritize the needs of our communities,” said Reginald Moore, executive director of the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks. “We look forward to the new opportunities it will bring to Baltimore residents and visitors.”

Read more:

Research and Resources

An Intentional Collision
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Clement Lau

Have you heard of “intersectional planning” as it relates to parks and recreation? Essentially, the term refers to “the integration between planning for green spaces and for other elements, such as transportation, housing, and water management,” and is an approach that recognizes “parks and open space as closely connected with their neighborhoods and rely on community-driven plans to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders”.

So, how do we do this practically? Let’s take a look at the county of Los Angeles, for example. For starters, park-planning efforts focus on sustainability, are equity-based so the highest-need communities are prioritized, and consider parks as key infrastructure needed to maintain and improve the quality of life for all residents. Parks and recreation is also fully integrated into countywide planning documents like the General Plan, which includes a parks and recreation element and the recently adopted OurCounty Sustainability Plan that contains a major goal and strategies to improve park access.

In addition, it helps tremendously that the county has formed the Healthy Design Workgroup, which is led by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and facilitates relationship-building, information-sharing, and collaboration and coordination on policies, plans, and projects among departments. Furthermore, the county has tools like the Department of Regional Planning (DRP)’s Equity Indicators Tool and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)’s Park Planning Viewer, which enable planners to view and analyze multiple sources and layers of data.

Read more:


The Surprising Link between Parks and Violence Prevention
Courtesy of Next City

By Danielle Bowen-Gerstein and Christine Williams

Studies that connect green space to mental health and wellbeing abound. And this connection is intuitive—people have long retreated to parks and natural places to recharge from the pressures of daily life. Less known is the fact that greening is gaining recognition as an effective violence prevention strategy.

In 2018, researchers in Philadelphia partnered with the community to convert vacant lots into small parks as part of a violence prevention strategy. The city contains over 44,000 vacant lots, many located in low-income areas. Researchers randomly assigned over 500 of these lots to three groups. The first group of lots were cleaned and “greened” with vegetation, the second set were just cleaned, and the third were left untreated. The first two groups of lots that received treatment had significant decreases in crime and violence. (The researchers hypothesize that sprucing up vacant lots removes the perception that nobody cares about a neighborhood. The new lots also create a new place for people to congregate, resulting in more “eyes on the street.”) Results were especially impressive in areas where residents’ incomes were below the poverty line.

Read more:


City of Oakland Leads Adaptive Bike Share Pilot for People with Disabilities
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

By Matt Nichols

CALIFORNIA - The Fostering Multimodal Connectivity Newsletter reported Oakland, CA's Bike Share Accessibility Pilot is a one-year program to better understand and meet bike share accessibility needs. Oakland initiated the pilot in response to a complaint made by the city of Oakland Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

The partnership launched a pilot program to identify and evaluate potential strategies to address unmet shared mobility needs in the region. It provides and evaluates the use and experience of 2 pop-up accessible bicycle locations. BORP provides 2 models of hand-pedal cycles, foot-pedal tricycles, and side-by-side tandem bikes, as well as lifts, and assistance to riders 2 days a week at Oakland's Lake Merritt, and 1 day a week in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. These are primarily recreational riding areas. The free six-month program is available to any person with disabilities with the Bay Wheels bike share app.

Early lessons from both locations are that the accessible bike share "stations" should be conveniently located near public, accessible restrooms, transit stops, and available parking and loading zones. Other challenges include higher than expected wear and tear on the bicycles, and high costs of rental trucks and equipment storage.

Read more:


E-bikes show distinct pattern of severe injuries
Courtesy of CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking

By Vishwadha Chander

E-bikes and electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, but the powered bikes carry a higher risk of severe injuries than traditional bicycles and a different pattern of injury risks compared with scooters, a recent study finds.

The authors analyzed emergency department data collected from 2000 to 2017 by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), on injuries involving all three types of vehicles.

While people riding e-bikes were more likely to suffer internal injuries and be hospitalized compared to the other riders, powered scooter users had higher rates of concussion. E-bike injuries were also more than three times as likely to involve a collision with a pedestrian than either scooter or traditional bike injuries, the researchers report in the journal Injury Prevention.

Read more:


BLM Seeks Nominations to Resource Advisory Committees

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is seeking public nominations for positions on 27 Resource Advisory Committees (RACs) nationwide. These citizen-based committees assist in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues.

The BLM maintains chartered advisory committees as a means of gaining expert advice, ideas, and diverse opinions on issues including land use planning, fire management, off-highway vehicle use, recreation, oil and gas exploration, noxious weed management, grazing issues, and wild horse and burro herd management issues. The committees support the Bureau's commitment to building a shared conservation stewardship legacy in the communities it serves.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others to serve on a RAC. Nominees, who must be residents of the state or states where the RAC has jurisdiction, will be reviewed based on their training, education, and knowledge of the RAC’s geographic area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. Letters of reference must accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations, a completed RAC application, and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.

For more information:


Youth Mentoring Framework
Courtesy of NRPA

The Youth Mentoring Framework has been developed to help local park and recreation agencies craft their own unique, individualized mentoring programs. It is designed to help your agency leverage local park and recreation assets that build protective factors around at-risk youth, while also forming strong social connections and positive relationships to address trauma, adversity and other challenges that youth experience.

For more information:


New Issue of Placemaking
Courtesy of PlayCore

There’s just something about being able to move freely and express ourselves in a well-designed environment that frees us from the stresses and challenges of everyday life. The more opportunities we have to be exposed to that type of freedom, the better we are able to function as people, parents, families, and communities. In this issue, we explore:

- Why designing places where people flourish is the heart of placemaking. 
- Ideas on how to create these meaningful environments can come from anybody…and everybody.
- Employee wellness as an organizational culture movement and ways to transform workspaces and employee connectivity. 
- And finally, two Dallas-area businesses that expanded place appeal with water amenities.

For more information:


Arizona State Parks and Trails Hosts Veterans Ride Inspired By NOHVCC Webinar
Courtesy of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council

On October 1, 2019 NOHVCC hosted a webinar titled “Learn How to Host Rides for Veterans.” After participating in the webinar Matthew Eberhart, State Off-Highway Vehicle Coordinator for Arizona State Parks & Trails got together with his team and decided to host a veteran’s ride of their own. With limited time between the webinar and Veterans Day, it was decided to host the ride a couple weeks after Veteran’s Day to ensure all the pieces could come together smoothly.

Matthew reached out to the local Royal Oaks Retirement Community in Sun City, Arizona and asked if any of their residents who are veterans or spouses of veterans would like the opportunity to visit a nearby riding area to go for a ride in an ROV (side-by-side). The Royal Oaks facility posted flyers and Matthew was ecstatic with the overwhelming response, saying, “the immediate outpouring of response took us back. We knew we had to make this happen.”

Read more:


For Added Aquatic Security
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation Business

By Tom Griffiths and Rachel Griffiths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people on average drown each day in the United States; additionally, 19 percent of children who drown in public pools do so with certified lifeguards on duty.

For the past quarter-century, the most repeated water-safety mantra has been “constant, vigilant supervision.” However this is a contradiction, for, simply stated, human beings cannot remain vigilant for more than a very brief time. Ultimately, it’s not the lack of supervision that contributes to drowning, but rather naturally occurring lapses in supervision.

But water-safety personnel do have a simple, practical and affordable technology available to them that has gone underutilized for many years. The lifejacket--primarily reserved for use on boats and other small craft--needs to be utilized universally by non-swimmers in swimming pools and water parks.

An appropriately fitting lifejacket can probably “drown proof” every person who wears one. But there needs to be a significant change in the water-safety culture to extend and normalize the use of lifejackets from boats to swimming activities at pools and beaches.

In the summer of 2008, the National Note and Float program was piloted at the outdoor swimming pool at Penn State University with great success. Since then, many aquatic facilities and organizations, such as Winston-Salem, N.C., Upper St. Clair, Penn., and Tucson, Ariz., have adopted the program with positive results.

Read more:


Building Water Confidence
Courtesy of NRPA

By Lindsay Collins

“Go Deep. Live Empowered.” This slogan, which belongs to the Underwater Torpedo League (UTL), speaks to the program’s tactics and goals to build water confidence nationwide through a newly developed, water-based sport.

The game was created by UTL founder and former U.S. Marine Prime Hall and his fellow service members as a survival training tool in the military to teach C02 tolerance and breath-hold work. Now available to the public, “[the] program is geared toward a warrior class of people, with specific goals to create positive and lasting shifts in water confidence, mindset and fortitude,” says Rick Briere, master instructor trainer for UTL. Currently, the program takes place in Southern California cities, including La Jolla, Oceanside, San Clemente, Irvine and Los Angeles. Recently, the founders launched an expansion program to bring UTL to cities all over the United States, with the first successful launch in Miami.

An additional aspect of UTL is Deep End Fitness (DEF), a training and conditioning program for UTL and other water-based sport and activity groups, such as surfers and ocean lifeguards.

Read more:

In the News

Convenient and Green, But Will E-Bikes Ever Replace Cars?
Courtesy of

By Rachel Swan

When Liza Lutzker threw her daughters a back-to-school party at the Berkeley, California, Rose Garden, she and her husband packed all the provisions on their electric cargo bikes: two boxes of firewood, food for 30 people, a water dispenser, plates, napkins, glasses and two kids.

Her family illustrates a culture shift in the Bay Area, where e-bikes, once conceived as a luxury item, are becoming a widely accepted form of transport. Enthusiasts view them as an option for commuters or for weekend warriors who want speed and distance with less work.

The trend is picking up globally, though it’s become particularly noticeable in Marin County, Berkeley and San Francisco. That pleases e-bike riders and merchants, even as it highlights the deficiencies of local roads, where collisions are frequent and some bicycle lanes are marked only with a picture of a bicycle.

This surge has emboldened people like Rob Allen, owner of Blue Heron Bikes in North Berkeley. Since opening the store in 2012, he has increased his stock of electric bikes from one to 50 and steadily tried to debunk the myth that distance cycling is solely for a rarefied group of athletes. “There was this perception that you can’t ride far without pretending you’re a bike racer — that you have to wear some type of aerodynamic outfit,” Allen said.

Read more:


Minnesota Zoo planning new ways to connect visitors to nature
Courtesy of the Star Tribune

MINNESOTA - The Minnesota Zoo is proposing a dramatic new vision for the 41-year-old attraction, aiming to connect visitors to the natural world through camping opportunities, a nature-based preschool and adventure rope courses rather than new exotic animal exhibits.

But the Minnesota Zoo is unusual, experts said, in the ambitions of its facilities plan and the amount of land — about 485 acres of woods and prairies — it can devote to outdoor pursuits.

Key projects include the $22 million Treetop Trail, which would transform the zoo’s defunct monorail track into what would likely be the country’s longest elevated trail loop; a rock-climbing facility, to go up in the vacant IMAX theater; and paved trails, a lodge and several camping options. Think not only cabins, but also yurts with bathrooms and electricity.

Read more:


Trump Administration Proposes Changes to National Environmental Policy Act
Courtesy of Planetizen

By James Brasuell

Lisa Friedman reports: "Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken the nation’s benchmark environmental law."

"The proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act could sharply reduce obstacles to the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other fossil fuel projects that have been stymied when courts ruled that the Trump administration did not properly consider climate change when analyzing the environmental effects of the projects," adds Friedman. Some of the changes would end the need to consider cumulative environmental impacts, like climate change, during federal environmental review, according to the article.

The article includes more details on the proposed changes, as well as details of NEPA in its current form, set against the context of the Trump administration's efforts to rollback environmental regulations during its time in office.

Read more:


S.C. state park lets visitors "hike" in virtual reality
Courtesy of Route Fifty

SOUTH CAROLINA - Table Rock State Park in South Carolina has introduced a virtual reality experience featuring a five-minute video of scenes from around the park. "It's for anybody who can't take this strenuous hike but still has a passion for this type of experience," says Dawn Dawson-House of the state Department of Parks, Tourism and Recreation.

Read more:


The great dismantling of America's national parks is under way
Courtesy of the Guardian

By Jonathan B Jarvis and Destry Jarvis

Under this administration, nothing is sacred as we watch the nation’s crown jewels being recut for the rings of robber barons.

For more than 100 years, professional management of our national parks has been respected under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Yes, they have different priorities, the Democrats often expanding the system and the Republicans historically focused on building facilities in the parks for expanding visitation. But the career public servants of the National Park Service (NPS), charged with stewarding America’s most important places, such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Statue of Liberty, were left to do their jobs.

Even in the dark days of interior secretaries James Watt and Gail Norton, both former attorneys with the anti-environmental Mountain States Legal Foundation, the National Park Service (NPS) was generally left untouched, perhaps because they recognized that some institutions have too much public support or their mission too patriotic to be tossed under the proverbial bus.

This time is different. The change began within 24 hours of the inauguration when Donald Trump complained that the NPS was reporting smaller crowds on the National Mall than Obama had drawn. Perhaps this is when the NPS wound up on the list of transgressors. Soon the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, attempted to double the entrance fees, rescinded climate policies and moved seasoned senior national park superintendents around to force their retirements.

Read more:


Playground Inspection & Maintenance
Courtesy of PlayCore

DATE: January 23, 2020
TIME: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. (EST)

On January 23, we will have an opportunity for you to listen to Teri Hendy, CPSI, President of Site Masters, Inc., who will discuss how to maximize your agency, school, and/or park playground maintenance efforts by properly identifying and correcting potentially hazardous conditions on the playground.

This session will help you define your maintenance plan as a key to protecting your investment, managing risk, improving children’s play experiences, promoting community values, and controlling expenses. Information provided will allow participants to identify procedures for correcting hazardous conditions and to develop inspection protocols and procedures for a sustainable playground maintenance program.

For more information:


Solutions for Managing Conflict on Shared-Use Trails
Courtesy of American Trails

DATE: February 20, 2020
TIME: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)
COST: $19 for members, $39 for nonmembers

Motorized, equestrian, biking, and hiking users do not always get along. The truth is, different user types often need different amenities, but we all have far more in common than not. When conflicts inevitably arise, what do we do? This webinar will continue the conversation from our 2019 International Trails Symposium and Training Institute that was held in April 2019 and dive into the issues around multi-use conflicts by first understanding the needs of the different user groups, and then exploring best practices for meeting those needs through innovative planning and design techniques.

The TRAILSLead™ Forums bring together thought leaders from across the trails industry to discuss some of today’s hottest trail topics. This moderated panel discussion will encourage significant audience questions and interaction as the primary mechanism for discussing these important issues. Invited panelists will respond to questions and encourage further discussion in the hopes of developing tangible policy guidance or best-practice takeaways on the subject being discussed.

For more information:

NACPRO | PO Box 74, Marienville, PA 16239 | (814) 927-8212